A Letter From Ireland
Happy Labor Day weekend!
The connection between the Labor Movement and Irish Republicanism has always been a bond of shared principles of equality, fraternity, fairness, and shared prosperity.
James Connolly, the executed military leader of 1916 Rising, and a union organizer in the US, said, “The cause of labor is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland in the cause the labor”.
US labor unions have led the calls for peace, equality, and unity in Ireland. Next month, Secretary Marty Walsh will address the Senate in Dublin. Several trade union leaders and great friends of Ireland will travel over including Terry O’Sullivan of LiUNA and John Samuelsen of the TWU.
Irish republicanism is a more expansive ideology than nationalism. It includes, and is more than, territorial integrity and national pride. A nation is a territory, history, and people. Patriotism is wanting the best for all of the nation including all of the people. A unified land and a divided people are not a nation. A nation is united and shared. Connolly’s slogan holds true for Ireland, America, and all nations.
I was thinking of Labor Day because I will be traveling with Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald to San Francisco to meet with labor, political, business, and community leaders next week.
The connection between Ireland and the bay area is deep and enduring. One hundred years ago, Countess Markievicz visited the area and was met by the combined ranks of the Connolly and Pearse Band. The band continues to perform and parade at Irish Republican and cultural events.
The Bay area is home to a large Irish and Irish American community. The bonds of family are also economic. The bay area is home to a new generation of Irish companies, US companies with significant investments in Ireland, and a generation of Irish entrepreneurs and technology leaders.
We are looking forward to engaging with the community, listening, and outlining the opportunities that this generation has to build a new and united Ireland. A home to all that share our Island. That would be a fitting tribute to Connolly and Markievicz.
Enjoy your weekend and I hope we can get to meet along the road.
Registration information for events in San Francisco can be found here.
Ciarán Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America. Each week he writes a letter from Ireland with news and analysis. It is featured in the weekly Friends of Sinn Féin USA Newsletter. Be sure you are subscribed to stay up to date.